Sport: Ferrari: There is a point at which we will introduce team orders

Charles Leclerc told exact tactics needed to stop Max Verstappen and needs a huge favour

  Charles Leclerc told exact tactics needed to stop Max Verstappen and needs a huge favour CHARLES LECLERC let a huge opportunity to close the gap on Max Verstappen in the title race slip when he crashed out of the lead at the French Grand Prix.The Monegasque driver desperately needed a good result to keep his fading title hopes alive but he gifted rival Max Verstappen the win - and perhaps the championship - with his error. It means the Dutchman cruised to a seventh win in 12 races to move 63 points clear of Leclerc with 10 races to go.

Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies has said team orders will likely be forthcoming in the second half of the season.

While Charles Leclerc continues to lead the Ferrari title challenge as he lies second in the Drivers’ Championship, 80 points behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz’s stronger mid-season run means the Spaniard is only 22 points behind his team-mate.

Up to now, Ferrari have not tried to introduce team orders, allowing Sainz to have a fair crack at recovering from his poor start to the season. This saw Ferrari almost throw away victory at Silverstone, with Sainz holding up the evidently quicker Leclerc and allowing them to come under pressure from the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

Ranked! The 10 best players in Ligue 1 right now

  Ranked! The 10 best players in Ligue 1 right now Ligue 1 has more stars than ever before – but who's the top dog in French football?

But with Red Bull evidently throwing their weight behind Verstappen in the title fight, Mekies said team orders will be introduced at Ferrari when the moment is right.

“I think it is more discussed outside Ferrari than inside Ferrari,” he told media over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

“But more seriously, again, we have always been very clear. We target to have the best result for the team. Ferrari comes first.

“Then, of course, there will be a point when we will need to focus more on a driver compared to the other one if the championship position is requiring. So it does not mean waiting for a mathematical difference, but it means being at the point of the season when you think it is the right thing to do.”

Which driver will they favour?

While Leclerc has shown more pace overall this season, Sainz’s upward momentum could give Ferrari pause for thought – especially considering the Spaniard’s apparent willingness to challenge team strategy calls.

Lewis Hamilton confused as Max Verstappen laughs at Ferrari Hungary woes in private talks

  Lewis Hamilton confused as Max Verstappen laughs at Ferrari Hungary woes in private talks LEWIS HAMILTON was back in the podium cool down room after picking up P2 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.While watching coverage of the race in the post-race cool down room, Hamilton appeared baffled at Ferrari's call to switch to the slowest compound tyre.

After Leclerc threw away a likely victory in France due to a mistake while leading, Mekies said Ferrari have no desire to try reigning in Leclerc.

“He has been showing such outstanding speed this year again that you don’t want to go and touch that aspect,” he said.

“Charles doesn’t need us to understand, as a great racing driver, where he needs to go in terms of closeness to the limit. He is a master of that and, as we all do, mistakes can happen. I think we don’t look at single mistakes, we look at the strike rate. We look at how extraordinarily you are able to do things compared to stuff you do not do as good, and I think his strike rate this year has been very impressive and we don’t want him to change anything.”

Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz battle. Red Bull Ring July 2022. © Provided by PlanetF1 Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz battle. Red Bull Ring July 2022.

Mekies then spoke about Sainz, detailing the progress he has made during the year.

Conclusions from the Hungarian Grand Prix

  Conclusions from the Hungarian Grand Prix Ever get the feeling you’ve seen this all before? Here are our conclusions from Budapest… Verstappen is laughing all the way to a second title And to think this was supposed to be one of Red Bull’s weaker races of the season… The Hungaroring had seemed perfectly suited to the strengths of the wonderfully agile, high-downforce Ferrari F1-75, the circuit lacking the long straights for the full force of Red Bull’s straight-line speed advantage to be felt.

Carlos has had three extremely strong weekends – Silverstone, Austria, France. We are very happy with that,” he said.

“It did not show up so much in the final race classifications besides Silverstone because we had other things to deal with. But you are very right in saying he has made great progress since the start of the season. We made no secret at the beginning of the year that naturally the car was not suiting him very well.

“We had to work a lot with him, with his engineers, with everyone back in Maranello to make sure we can give him something he is more comfortable with. And these things take time. And slowly, it seems we are heading towards the right direction, which is another great sign for the team and the way we interact. So I think that’s where it is.”

But Mekies denied Sainz’s recent form makes him the more likely candidate to become the team leader.

“Does it make someone a leader or not? No, it doesn’t, it is not what makes a leader or not,” he said.

“We know we have two very good drivers. We treat them in a way that we can maximise our championship positions and we want them as fast as they can possibly be.”

PlanetF1’s top 10 drivers of the F1 2022 season so far: Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and more

  PlanetF1’s top 10 drivers of the F1 2022 season so far: Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and more How do the Formula 1 drivers rank for their performances in the first half of the 2022 season? Here's the top half of our 'grid'.Who will be lying back on their vacation sunbed quietly content with their performance so far? And which drivers may have to snub that tempting cocktail to spend more time poring over the data to see where they can improve?

Mekies: Leclerc is not more emotional than Sainz

With Leclerc having a reputation for being publicly self-critical and allowing his frustrations to be heard over team radio, this is in stark contrast to the more aggressive radio calls from Sainz.

With question marks over Leclerc’s mental fortitude in a title battle, as evidenced by the error in France while under pressure from a Red Bull undercut attempt, Mekies denied the Monegasque is a driver more inclined to distraction by emotion than his team-mate.

“I would not say so, really,” he said.

“With both these guys we have had very good highs and we have had very painful lows this season, and in both ways, in both directions, when they come back to the garage, when they have looked at what happened, when they have looked at the data, they are able to reset, to be in the learning mode pretty much after 15 minutes.

“So you need to separate that from maybe what you can hear on the radio in the heat of the moment when they are racing with a high heart rate. I think it’s two different things. But when they get out of the car and they analyse everything, after an hour they will be back into the analysis mode and show little emotion in a negative way, no negative emotions, but instead you can see it drives them to even more motivation. ”

Ferrari told exactly who they should fire following 'unbelievable' series of mistakes .
FERRARI are almost 100 points behind Red Bull in the F1 Constructors' Championship standings.Charles Leclerc won two of the first three Grands Prix of the season as drivers got to grips with their new-look cars following a winter of upgrades. And it appeared that Ferrari would dominate for the first time since the late 2000s.

See also